ABUJA – The Federal Government has inaugurated the Governing Council for the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, MDCN.
The inauguration, done last Friday, followed months of protests by the Nigerian Medical Association that its members would soon shut down public hospitals nationwide, should President Muhammadu Buhari fail to inaugurate the board.
Absence of the board, the doctors said, had resulted in failure of government to sanction medical personnel and health facilities that have been caught or suspected to have engaged in unprofessional conduct.
Constituting the panel on Friday in Abuja, the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, charged the council to work towards achieving the responsibilities bestowed on it.
The Minister said in a release made available to this newspaper by the ministry, through its Director, Media and Publicity, Mrs Boade Akinola, that: ”As you are aware, Governing Councils are creations of statutes, and their responsibilities are to give policy direction, effective oversight and strategic guidance to the management of the institutions. I therefore wish to emphasise that government expects no less from this council”.
“Your Council is critical to the achievement of developmental goals of government being implementing entities of the health sector. You are all enjoined to commit to achieving this mandate and to live above board”.
He urged the Council to study and strictly adhere to the laid down laws that defined the roles and responsibilities of the council members.
The release reads further: “He said the Council should determine the standard of knowledge and skill to be attained by persons seeking to become members of the Medical and Dental profession and reviewing those standards from time to time as circumstance may permit.
“The Minister explained that the Council shall review and prepare from time to time a statement as to the code of conduct which the Council considers desirable for the practice of the professions in Nigeria, amongst others.
“Adewole said that the mission of the Federal Ministry of Health was to ensure that the Nigerian populace had universal access to comprehensive, appropriate, affordable, efficient, equitable and quality essential health care through a strengthened health system.
“I must inform you that our job is to take our nation to a brighter future in spite of challenges that confront us”, he said.
“In his welcome remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health Abdulaziz M. Abdullahi called on council members to see their appointment as a call to national service which should be given full sense of responsibility. He also urged the members of the Governing Council to do everything possible to reduce professional rivalry in the sector.
“Responding, the Chairman of the Council Prof. Abba Hassan, Wazirin Mubi on behalf of other members pledged to give their best in improving the Nigerian health system.
” He said ‘our principal task is to ensure high quality Medical and Dental training, curtail unethical Medical and Dental practice and stamp out quackery.”
Prof. Hassan further called on patients affected by unethical practice to come forward and complain.